“Many Don’t Know The Law Is There to Back Them Up”

Luisa Teresa Hedler Ferreira is one of roughly 40 students to have entered the competitive Master’s programme in International Human Rights Law in Lund. The programme which combines the resources of both the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and the Faculty of Law at Lund University.

She is aiming to specialize is sexual reproductive rights and also looking forward to studying international labour law in the second year of the Master’s Programme. 15536912_10154083013348309_1087025462_o

At what moment did you start taking an interest in human rights and law?

It happened when I worked with the community outreach programmes in the first semesters of law school. Studying law can be very abstract, but I got a sense of the human dimension of law and how it can affect people’s lives. After that I did an internship with a labor law firm and got practical experience working in international law.

Which issues are you the most passionate about?

I have been interested in women’s rights for a long time. For example, in Brazil, women and men have formal equality but it is not necessarily reflected in other relevant laws. But when the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights brought up the issue of gender-based violence in Brazil it actually led to a new law, the “Maria Da Penha law”. With it came important changes, like stronger punishment for those who practice domestic violence towards women.

During my work with community outreach I realized how important it is for women and for protecting their rights. So many women are not aware of their rights and that the law is there to back them up.

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